‘One little mistake on a girls holiday in Zante cost me £12,000’

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A TikTok creator has shared her experience of having thousands of pounds stolen from her after she made one mistake while on holiday in Zante. Lydia Jasmine regularly shares lifestyle and finance content on the social media platforms, and recounted her experience with having nearly £12,000 stolen from her bank account.

The incident occurred back in 2022, with Lydia making clear the matter has since been resolved. She said: “If you’re due to go on a girls holiday or a lads holiday this summer, do not make the same mistake as me.”

While holidaying in the party destination of Zante in Zakynthos, Lydia participated in a boat trip, taking her belongings in a small bag. She said: “My bag was kept on me at all times. The only time I didn’t have my bag on me was when I went in the sea, but my friend was still on the boat, so she had it.”

Upon returning to the boat, despite her bag still being there, her phone was missing. Lydia said: “They said they would search everyone when we got off the boat to try and find my phone, and they wouldn’t be left off unless they were searched.”

She claimed not everyone was searched. Despite her phone missing, that wasn’t the cause for concern. Lydia said: “My biggest mistake that holiday was putting my driving licence in the back of my phone. Now you’re probably thinking, ‘Oh, so what? They’ve only got your driving licence’.

“My birthday, which was on my driving licence in the back of my phone, was the password for my phone. And it was also the password to my online banking.”

She proceeded to freeze her bank cards. By the time she returned home, she found a bank transfer of £12,242 had been made to an unknown account.

The funds had been stored in a ‘Help to Buy’ ISA, which she explained once was withdrawn, it couldn’t be re-deposited. Lydia attempted to open a police report with her local station, but was told to contact Zante’s police instead.

She described Zante police as “absolutely no help”, as well as the boat tour organisers. Lydia said: “Because this person now has my phone, access to all of my [photo] gallery, all of my photos that were ever on my phone ‘cause my iCloud was on there. They have access to my online banking, they have my ID, I’ve had to open an identity fraud protection scheme.

“So now for the rest of my life, I am paying for a protection service against identity fraud ‘cause this person could quite easily take out as many loans, mortgages, anything they like with my information.”

Lydia then checked the Find My iPhone app, where the location of her phone showed to be in Birmingham. She said: “We gave this to the police. They absolutely did not want to hear about it at all.”

She claimed the police advised against locating the phone themselves, as they would not be protected by the force. Lydia said: “The moral of the story is - do not put your ID in the back of your phone case. One, if you’re going on holiday, two, ever. And number two, don’t set your birthday as your password”

In a follow-up video, Lydia explained she went through a lengthy process to resolve the matter and get her money back. After a failure to investigate, Lydia met with her bank on several occasions to change her security process, marking her account as ‘fraudulent’ - as well as a ‘fraudulent flag’ - and closing it.

Lydia explained she and her friends couldn’t find the phone, nor could the local police, because the perpetrators could’ve been “on the move” rather than in one location. She said: “For all we knew they could’ve been driving, they could’ve been walking, they could’ve planted the phone anywhere."

She was advised to set up an identity protection scheme for future protection. Fortunately she did receive her money back, but it took a while with several phone calls and meetings with her bank, and further investigations by police.

After being left with just 42p, Lydia received a £1,000 grant until the action was confirmed as fraudulent. “If they assume it’s not fraud, you have to pay the money back,” she said. “But in my situation it was and therefore I was then granted that, and given the rest of the money under the fraud protection.

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